Copping frequent flak over team selection for major international competitions, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Tuesday came up with a new policy that would guide selections till the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Those who used to take the National Championships (NSC) for granted, beware. Henceforth, it will be mandatory for every shooter, “regardless of personal sporting achievements to participate in the NSC.
There shall be no review of this criteria at any forum,” said the 18-page document. This means that even Olympic Games gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra, among others, will have to shoot in the NSC in order to be considered for selection.
The annual selection pool shall be reconstituted from the NSC results and will form the basis of team selection.
“The selection process would start with effect from the NSC of a particular year by identifying the top 12 shooters who would be eligible for selection in the National team.
“The scores at the NSC are the mandatory base score. Based on various parameters, categorisation of teams shall be in three broad categories — NET (National Excellence Team), NAT (National 'A' Team) and NBT (National 'B' Team),” the NRAI release said.
The NET team will participate in the top-notch competitions such as the quadrennial World Championships, World Cups, Asian Championships, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
The 'A' team will shoot in the Afro-Asian Games, SAF Games and the Commonwealth Championships apart from the Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS), while the 'B' team will compete for MQS and International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) recognised the Grand Prixs and competitions.
Besides the NSC, two-three selection trials would also be held every year with the first being mandatory.
“It is mandatory to take part in the first selection trial but he could get his/her scores replaced in the subsequent trials by substituting it with the trial score of designated ISSF championships,” the statement read.
The NRAI also said that World champions and Olympic medallists would be entitled to some merit points.
“Merit points will be given to shooters for excellence in their performances for winning in either the Olympic Games, World Championships or World Cup finals.
“The NRAI also made it clear that those winning Olympic quota places would not get automatic selection to the mega event.
“…Sending the winners of quota places will be dispensed with and the quota shall henceforth be the property of the NRAI and the country.”